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How Turo and Getaround Owners Remove Smoke From Car Interior

How Turo and Getaround Owners Remove Smoke From Car Interior

In my last post, I talked about how owners financially deal with renters who smoke in their cars. There is no way to avoid smokers. Even with stiff penalties and fines, there will be people who rent cars and smoke in them. Since weed is now legal in many cities, many more people think they can smoke weed in cars, but not cigarettes. Weed typically doesn’t linger as long as cigarette smoke but still leaves a strong smell depending on how much they smoke.

Below is my last post on how to get the maximum compensation from smokers on Turo and Getaround:

How To Deal With Smokers on Turo and Getaround

To recap the financial compensation to Turo and Getaround owners, below are the typical reimbursement limits:

Turo (Cleaning Fee Explained):


How Turo and Getaround Owners Remove Smoke From Car Interior

Smoke odors penetrate into the seat, carpet and headliner. Sometimes airing out the car for a day or two will remove most of the smell. Driving the car with the windows can help. If there is smoke smell in your car, do not run the car interior fan on circulate. You risk getting the smoke smell into the car’s climate control and it will be much harder to clean.

You will need an ozone generator to clear the smoke smell. There are other ways to remove smoke smell from the car, but the ozone generator works the best and works in less than 30 minutes. This is the one I bought from Amazon and has over two thousand great reviews and you can get it in two days with Prime membership. I personally love it and it works really well for the size.

Ozone Generator

Simple scents and car vent fresheners do not work since it just tries to mask the smell.

The below post will highlight what to do right after getting back the car from a smoker:

How To Deal With Smokers on Turo and Getaround

It is critical that you document the condition of the car after the rental to get the maximum compensation. Once you took all the pictures to claim a reimbursement, vacuum the entire car, including the seats, carpet and center console. Look under the seats and vacuum there as well. Move the front seats forward and back to have better access to the carpet underneath the seats.

Once you have vacuumed the car, try to wipe down the interior trim (dashboard, steering wheel, center console) with just warm water. Don’t soak the interior so make sure the towel is damp but not wet. Try to avoid the plastic parts that you have to see through (speedometer, radio screen, etc) or it may leave some annoying streaks with water. This will remove any residual smoke ash and some of the smell.

If the renter also sprayed a scent onto the car, try to remove it with a damp towel. Some renters heavily spray down the car with a scent to mask the weed, but it ends up smelling even worst as the weed smell mutates into something more awful, like Axe body spray.

Time to Use the Ozone Generator

Ozone Generator

The last step is to use the ozone generator. Plug it into an 120VAC outlet or get a car AC inverter. The ozone generator takes a few hundred watts so make sure that the car is running if you plan on running it without a wall outlet. When you run the ozone generator inside the car, make sure that the climate control is off. You want the ozone to stay inside the car and you do not want the car’s climate control to draw in air from the outside or circulate the air. The ozone generator by itself works pretty well since it has a small fan in there.

It doesn’t really matter where you put the ozone generator in the car. I have put it in the back seat and front seat arm rest and doesn’t make too much of a difference since the goal is to replace all the air inside the car with ozone. I would set a timer for 30 minutes (45 for a big minivan). An hour is too long for a car. Once it is done, make sure to air out the car for about 15 minutes. Note that ozone is dangerous to living cells so don’t breathe it in. It will irritate your lungs instantly so make sure to air out the car. If you leave the ozone generator on for an hour, it will take longer for the car to air out and it doesn’t seem to work any better than just 30 minutes.

If you still smell the weed after 30 minutes, air out the car and drive it around for about 5 minutes and then do it again. There only has been one time where I needed to do it twice, but one time should be enough. It should be more than sufficient to remove most of the smell so the next renter doesn’t complain about the smell of smoke.

Other Uses of Ozone Generator

This product was meant to remove odors (specifically smoke) from whole houses. It is the primary equipment used for fire remediation. One review claimed that he removed smoke smell from a 2000 square feet room so this thing is pretty strong. Another reviewer  who was a smoker woke up one day and couldn’t stand the smell of smoke and he used it to remove the smell of smoke from his house. This thing really works. If you are trying to deodorize an entire house, make sure to close all the windows and use a big fan to better distribute the ozone within the house.

It also works really well to remove odors from clothes. You can put this machine into a large box with some clothes and run it for 5 minutes. Make sure that there is enough room around the machine so that air can flow in/out of the machine and around the clothes. It should remove most of the smell from clothes, especially thick jackets, sweaters, blankets, etc. I would recommend moving all the clothes you want to deodorize into any closet and use the machine inside the closet.

An ozone generator is also great if you have rental property or a real estate agent. You can use it to remove odors from units before showings or between rentals. I haven’t had a chance to use it as a real estate agent, but I think I will one day.

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